Christian Men that give me Hope for the Future – A FF7 Series

In my Christian journey around the meta sphere, I’ve encountered men of all ages that give me hope for the future. I’ll highlight these men and share a link to their online content.

Today we start with a look at Carew Ellington. This young man shares his Christian journey on Instagram. The photo of his Baptism is pinned to the top of his page. That’s your first clue that Carew is living his Christian life out loud for the world to see. He’s a living Bible and the first introduction to the scripture some have ever seen.

With over 293K followers on his Instagram account, Carew is undoubtedly positively impacting young (and old) people worldwide. I think we all have to ask ourselves are we impacting lives in a positive Christian way? Is it apparent to our friends on social media that being a Christian is core to who we are?

Take a look at Carew’s page and see if it doesn’t leave you smiling and thanking God for public expressions of faith.

Are my Christian expectations too high?

I was disappointed, numb, and shaking my head this Saturday morning. I was teaming for the Tidewater Walk to Emmaus #126 Men’s Walk. We meet for Team Training every Saturday for about eight weeks in preparation for the actual walk. When I arrived, the team tables were set up in a “U” arrangement, with seats for about 25 team members. Name cards were on the tables in front of each chair. As I scanned the tables, my name card was missing. What to do?

I told the Weekend Lay Director I didn’t have a chair at the table, and he quipped back, “of course you do.” I didn’t, though, so I asked the cadre member responsible for setting up the tables where I was supposed to sit; he didn’t know and started looking through his folders for my name card. I noticed this cadre member resumed scurrying around the room, attending to other responsibilities, so I grabbed a chair out of the corner and set it near the end of one of the tables.

As I sat in a chair separate from the team at the tables, I wondered if the cadre would resolve this. Since I was close to the end of one of the tables in the “U” configuration, I wondered if the Spiritual Director sitting in the last chair at the end of the table would offer me a corner, but that didn’t happen either. As the training started, I realized I had placed my chair in front of a musician’s microphone, so I moved my chair back a few feet out of the way. Now I was sitting alone, in the corner of the room, with every team member seated at the tables except me.

One of the tenets of Emmaus is that nothing starts until the team is together. This tenet usually applies to everyone in the room, but in this case, given the circumstances, I would suggest everyone seated at the common table would equate “together.” I was surprised we started the training with one team member sitting in a corner away from the rest of the team. But there we were.

My solo seat was just behind the four spiritual directors; none made overtures to make room at the table for me. Two-thirds of the team could see me in the corner, and many made eye contact, but none offered to make room for me at the table. Men I had teamed with many times before and that I considered brothers did nothing.

During the first speaker, a cadre member brought my name card, handed it to me, and left me wondering exactly where I should put it. I had no table, just my chair, and the floor. Near the end of the first speaker, the cadre member returned and suggested I sit on one of the cadre’s chairs that was sitting with the musicians. At that point, it would have been awkward to move while the speaker was talking, and a break in protocol.

The first speaker was the community lay director, and as he spoke on the importance of building a cohesive team during the training process, I no longer felt part of the team. Sitting alone, separate from the entire team at the tables, did not lend itself to cohesiveness. At the first break, a member of the cadre offered up his chair to me. I had spent much of the time during the first speaker talking to God. What was happening, and what should I do? If you’re thinking this sounds a bit petty, maybe, I’ll concede that if it helps anyone. I was reminded of being a child while picking sides to play kickball and being the last to be picked, yet left on the bench and not picked at all.

After praying, I was led to leave at the break and head home. I no longer felt part of this team and questioned if teaming up with these folks was the right thing to do. Later that day, the Weekend Lay Director called me at home. He didn’t remember me telling him I had no seat at the table and asked if I said anything to the cadre member responsible for the table arrangement, and I had. He wondered if a cadre member offered me his chair at the break, and he had. He then stated that he assumed I wanted to sit in the corner alone. I was left wondering how anyone sitting at the table couldn’t have noticed that there were no empty seats, no room for any more seats, and my name card wasn’t on the table.

Assuming everyone on the team thought I wanted to sit in a corner alone, I have to wonder why none of the cadre and my brothers and sisters wouldn’t have approached me to see what was happening. Did I need to speak with a spiritual director? Was I O.K.? This assumed scenario reminded me of Matthew 18 and Luke 15, the parable of the 99. None of the strong Christian men and women in that room left the other 25 team members at the table to find the one lost team member in the corner.

Frankly, I was stunned that the four spiritual directors I was sitting behind said not one word to me. I was likewise dismayed that none of the teamers at the table offered to make room for me or to ask if I was O.K. Maybe I had unrealistic expectations; it wouldn’t be the first time. But I can say without hesitation that if I had been seated at the table and another one of the team members was sitting alone in a corner, I would have insisted we resolve that before starting the training. That might be me, alone again, in my thoughts and expectations.

I have been led to step away from teaming on 126; it doesn’t feel comfortable anymore. I pray no team training in the future starts with a team member absent from the table and alone in the corner of the room. Lastly, Holy Communion is part of every team training and always begins with “this table is open to all.” I’ll end this right here…

May the Peace of Jesus Christ be with you all.

Should we respond to religious memes challenging us for a response?

The meme below popped up on the Facebook feed of an old friend. I see these types of memes popping up all the time. So let’s take a look at the answer to the question in the meme.

The answer to this meme may not be what folks are looking for. If you want to understand the question of “God making your dreams come true,” you need to read the stories of Abraham and the Israelites. If your dream is for money and wealth, God isn’t in the business of making that dream come true. The same can be said for beauty, a mansion, a fancy car, etc. It is usually as we learn from the two stories mentioned above that God will give us a dream, and then that we must have trust and faith that He will make (fulfill) the dream. The problem comes when we try to advance the dream’s outcome ahead of God’s plan.

Let’s briefly talk about asking God for wealth. We need only to look at what Jesus asked of his disciples, which was to sell what they had, leave everything behind, and follow Him. Jesus lived richly in faith but was physically poor and in poverty. Beware of memes suggesting that if you say “Amen,” you’ll be rewarded with riches or money. Look at the story of the woman with two coins (Mark 12:41-44). She gave away all the money she had in the world; she gave the most. God probably won’t ask you to give all of your money away, but He does expect you will give to others in greater need than yourself.

Finally, the people that generate these memes (HER SMILE) play on a superstition that if you don’t comment, you have somehow failed God. The reality is that God didn’t generate the meme, and it is not God who is challenging you. These memes generate income for the person who created (HER SMILE) with every click and reply.

May the Peace of Jesus Christ be with you all as you navigate the plethora of memes tempting your response.

The harest job on the planet, being father and a man

Being a father is the most thankless job on the planet. I have read this many times, and I agree. It’s not that I think my children or grandchildren don’t appreciate me, but that what I do as a father is mainly in the background. I believe that my reward is leaving behind a generation or two that will love and support one another, pay attention to the needs of others, and spend time with one another.

I grew up a product of a broken home, with one sibling that made a career of plotting against me and another that I didn’t meet until my 30s. Both siblings are similar in that neither has a desire for family connections. I’m 180 out; I thrive on being with family. I have 14 nieces and nephews between my two siblings; I don’t know any of them. Sure I met most of them at some point, but I don’t know them.

My son and I are in our happy place.

Luckily, I have eleven nieces and nephews on my wife’s side of the family. I know them, see them all, and have been invited to many life events. Being in San Diego with them is one of my happy places. I’m also blessed to have cousins on the fraternal side of my family. I consider these cousins part of my immediate family and refer to them as nieces and nephews. They, too, have included me in life events. Being in Florida with them is one of my happy places.

I have traveled as far as San Diego, Tampa, and, later this month, Montana at my nephew’s invitation. Again, I thrive when surrounded by family. My mother used to tell the story of a great uncle who always had a fork and spoon in his pocket. He did this so that if he passed a gathering at a home or church, he could join the celebration and have a good meal. He thrived on eating with people he didn’t know. On the other hand, I can pack a bag at a moment’s notice.

The point, or at least one of them, is we have to make an effort to be with the people we love. It would be easy to say they have to come to me, but the reality is it’s not about me. It’s about setting the example that family is so important that we will travel to them. We also have to take into account the reality of life. My nieces and nephews are younger, have families to raise and support, and their children’s busy lives. I’m retired; my schedule is my own. Even before I retired, I spent much time traveling to see family. Another critical point is that even though my family may not be able to travel here, they invite me to where they are. I can’t ever remember turning down an invitation.

While on active duty in the U.S. Navy, we could not always travel to see my parents on the opposite side of the country, but they made an effort to travel to us. My father set that example, and his reward was seeing us. I carry on that example and make that effort too. My reward is seeing my family, and that’s enough for me.

Based on the scriptures in our Holy Bible, I believe that being a Man, Father, Grandfather, and Uncle, I have a responsibility to set an example for my entire family. If I succeed, the next generation will set the benchmark for their children and grandchildren. I know many people who are detached from their children and grandchildren; they have reaped what they sowed.


How many times have you seen memes like this on Facebook and Instagram?  Worse, how many times have you fallen for this trend?  God does not write these memes, and He does not reward us with money or anything else for clicking our mouse and typing Amen.

I’m saddened every time I see a meme like this and even sadder to see friends and family fall victim to them.  These memes prey on superstition, that something bad will befall you if you don’t type Amen. 

Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness.

1 Timothy 4:7

God does not play silly games with us centered on challenges to type Amen or any other word in Facebook comments.  I can assure you that no matter how many times you type Amen, God is not going to put $10,000 in your account tomorrow.

Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 


If riches are what you’re looking for, then give everything away to the poor.  If you spend your time looking for ways to serve the least among us, then you may find in return you’re a wealthy man.  God will reward you with riches in heaven, that doesn’t exist here on earth.

So the next time you see one of these rags to riches memes, just pass it on by.

Are you being the man today, that God has called on you to be?

What’s in a name?

  • Faith
  • Fitness
  • Seven


I haven’t discussed the name “FaithFit7,” so let me do it now.  There are many words that describe Christianity, being a Christian, following Jesus Christ, and having faith.  I tend to focus on faith as the most important element of being a Christian.  Having faith means that we are able to trust God with everything.  It’s not just a word, it is a complete way of life.  That said, it takes every element to be complete and perfect in our walk with Jesus Christ.

In a later post, I’ll get into what is required of us to be a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ, and to have faith in God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.


Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 

Hebrews 12:12

In Hebrews 12 the writer uses athletics as sameness with spiritual growth.  Taking care of our bodies, the temples built by God is part of our walk with Jesus.  The walk will be long, and arduous at times, so being healthy and fit will help us along the narrow path.


In the scriptures of the Holy Bible, the number 7 symbolizes completeness and perfection, both spiritual and physical.  I have to admit that perfection is a pretty lofty goal for men here on earth, but we can strive in earnest.

Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 

Matthew 19:21

Let’s continue the journey and keep on living…

This Memorial Day we Honor HM3 Corpsman Maxton W. Soviak, U.S. Navy, and the 12 Service Members of Abbey Gate, Afghanistan

It would be nearly impossible to name all of the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. This Memorial Day, I am remembering Corpsman Maxton Soviak and the other 12 service members killed at Abbey Gate during the abrupt withdrawal from Afghanistan on August 26th, 2021.

After graduating high school in 2017, Maxton enlisted in the Navy and was serving as a “Doc” with 2/1 Ghost Company, U.S. Marines. He enjoyed time with friends, cliff diving, scuba diving, cross-fit, wrestling, and jujitsu. Maxton loved the life he was living, but his sweet spot was his love of family. He is survived by 12 brothers and sisters, and his mother and father.

Maxton’s parents Rachel and Kip Soviak founded the HM3 Maxton Soviak Memorial Foundation to help Veterans and their families with adventure, experiences, and resources to live life to the MAX!

Today we honor the memory and service of Maxton Soviak and so many others and pray a hedge of protection over all who are standing the watch this Memorial Day, 2022.

Please don’t say “Happy Memorial Day” it’s Remembrance 2022

The observance and remembrance of our military war dead and those who died in service predates the American Civil War. More than 25 American towns claim to have originated this observance, and all are steeped in rich history. This holiday observance like many in America has taken on a life of its own. The phrase “Happy Memorial Day,” will be said millions of times, but this isn’t a happy day. Today we should all take pause and remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, for the safety and security we enjoy as a nation each day.

Everything from cars to appliances will be discounted this weekend, but sadly so will the importance of this day if we don’t collectively make a point of sharing and explaining what Memorial Day is all about. More than 2.8 million Americans have died in service to our nation since the American Revolutionary War. So today isn’t a random celebration of a long weekend, it’s a celebration of the contributions and sacrifice of so many.

USAA Memorial Day Tribute

Memorial Day is NOT about backyard barbeques or a trip to the beach. It’s not a “happy Memorial Day,” it’s a day of remembrance.

USAA has done an incredible job of honoring the men and women of our Armed Forces who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and way of life. From explaining the meaning behind the holiday to the origins of the Red Poppy as a symbol of remembrance, they hit a home run.

USAA doesn’t allow redirect links to their site, but you can Google – USAA Memorial Day Tribute – and be led to their site.